Letter to the Editor

Do you want control over your land?

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Farmers, ranchers, landowners and anyone interested in the consequences of government officials making harmful decisions:

The Iowa Utilities Board is proposing the use of eminent domain with wind and solar energy. Eminent domain is the right of a government to expropriate private property for public use. This means even if you do not give a wind developer or utility company access to your land, the IUB could (according to this proposal) still run transmission lines through your property because they claim wind energy is a “public utility.” One could argue renewable energy is not a public utility since the energy produced in Iowa leaves the state. In fact, the Clean Energy Line takes the renewable energy produced in northern Iowa to Illinois and the proposed ITC Midwest Dubuque transmission line will export Iowa’s renewable energy to Wisconsin.

In addition to the use of eminent domain, the IUB is proposing a “more streamlined application process (that will) reduce the regulatory burden to encourage development of renewable energy generating facilities.” More specifically, the IUB wants to dismiss the current use of a public information meeting and reduce the application review period.

Currently, wind energy development is regulated and approved at the county level. These changes will make wind development even more secretive and take away your landowner rights.

The IUB is made up of three appointed, unelected, people making decisions for everyone who owns property in the state. Their proposals will force Iowa to act in a way designed to promote the “common good” of “green energy,” removing the rights of individuals. The IUB is not omniscient and should not plan the actions of millions of people, the placement of renewable projects in the 99 counties of Iowa, or how to care for the best farmland in the world. No one has a right to take or control your farm.

If you want to protect private property rights, if you do not want to live in an industrial wind project, and want to protect your family and neighbors from the decisions of a three member board appointed by the governor, then voice your concerns! Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors. Contact your legislators today.

Iowa, it is time to stop the madness of industrial wind turbines running over our state. Protect your property rights.

— Kim Brenneman, Parnell